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Go.com exceeds 1Q forecasts

Go.com (NYSE: GO) lost far less than analysts predicted in the first quarter.

After market close Wednesday, the Web portal operator reported a fiscal first quarter net loss of $46 million, or 30 cents per share, on a pro forma basis that excludes amortization. First Call's survey of three analysts predicted a loss of 47 cents per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

Including $233.2 million in writedowns of intangibles related to the November acquisition of Infoseek, Go.com lost $265.4 million, or $1.73 per share.

Executives of Go.com reiterated their plan to move the company away from being a general portal to one focused on entertainment, recreation and leisure.

"We're pleased with our first quarter results, particularly in terms of Internet revenue," Go.com Chairman Steven M. Bornstein. "Our performance underscores the continued popularity and market leadership of our vertical content and e-commerce Web sites."

Go reported an operating loss of $82.6 million in the first quarter, compared to $28.

Fourth quarter revenue rose 13 percent year-over-year on a pro forma basis, to $125.6 million. Internet revenue increased 47 percent to $72.8 million. Direct marketing business fell 15 percent to $52.8 million, partly because of lower catalog response rates, the company said.

Average daily page views in the first quarter for the Go Network rose to 72 million, up 91 percent year-over-year and up 20 percent sequentially. But they fell to 59 million in December from 63 million in September.

Shares of Go.com fell 13/16 to 28 3/16 in Wednesday's regular trading prior to the quarterly report.>